75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 Res“Always leave your campsite just a little better than how you found it.” Adult Scout leaders often shared this fundamental principal with my scout troop. As I completed the requirements for Eagle Scout, it became a foundation for my beliefs and goals as an adult and later as an elected official.

I have visited thousands of homes in Blue Springs and have found residents very consistent in their expectations. They want their elected officials to find ways to make our city just a little better than how they found it. This basic philosophy of improvement is important to the long-term health of our community, and I feel very strongly that it is important for our elected officials to pursue such a worthy goal.

This year, residents are sharing with me their excitement about new shopping and dining opportunities that have come to our city, but they are concerned about the economy and looking to our elected officials, both locally and nationally, to find solutions. They are looking for a return to prosperity in the housing industry, and especially interested in insuring that the housing provided for our citizens is of high quality and yet affordably priced. The hope for older businesses to update their facilities and empty buildings to be better utilized continues, while recognizing that progress has been made in this area, there remains much to be done.

Missouri Innovation Park continues to move forward with small steps of accomplishment. I am committed to assisting with the facilitation of this project and to the quality jobs that will come as a result of its success. With new business and new employees, increased demand for housing and increased revenue for existing business will result in a stronger economy for our city.

Current city policy prevents or limits the renovation of many existing business facilities in Blue Springs. Many years ago, zoning policies were enacted that designated the location of specific industries within certain business corridors; car dealerships placed along the Outer Road, as an example. The unintended consequence of those policies is that existing businesses are prevented or limited in their options to improve their buildings when their location is inconsistent with existing zoning. Fixing the problem will require revised policies that will allow existing businesses to improve their properties, while still requiring new businesses to locate in the appropriate corridors of the city. This is a beginning step in the necessary process of addressing the blight and vacant buildings, and will show support and appreciation of the existing businesses that have sustained our community for many years.

I am excited about the opportunity to assist in finding solutions to all of the issues facing our city. Please remember to vote on April 5th. I will work hard to make our city better than it is today.